Remix, Remake, Curate

Learning with the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Tar River Writing Project, & The Poetry Project

Make Cycle 1 Wrap-Up: Citizen Science

Wow!  We did it!

Sir Walter Raleigh ScientistAs we finish up the first Make Cycle of Remix, Remake, Curate (#imakesci), we want to express our appreciation and admiration for the ways in which you all jumped right in, becoming citizen scientists and thoughtful poets, making and sharing science and science media from your back yards and school yards.  Our Google+ Community has 114 members, and we’re just getting started!  Feel free to share this newsletter with others and invite your friends, neighbors, or colleagues to join in the fun.

This week, we asked MOOC participants to conduct a “bioblitz,” what NC Museum of Natural Sciences aquatic entomologist Chris GoForth calls an intensive biodiversity survey of an area.  When people make repeated observations of an area, she notes, they begin to see the ways that an individual species fits into the whole.  They start to see the connections between living things and understand that biodiversity matters.  The next step, Chris says, can be to move from noticing and documenting to advocating and stewarding, making spaces like native gardens that support and nurture varied forms of life.  Here’s a great resource from the US Department of Agriculture on native gardening to get you started.

#icitsci Fabulous Finds

So far in the first Make Cycle we have had some pretty awesome projects posted to the community. Let’s take a few minutes to showcase a few of the makes that really stood out.

  • Debra Pagona and Rebecca Bulvanowski‘s elementary students at WH Robinson in Pitt County, NC showed us that size doesn’t matter when it comes to making a big beat!  These little people took a science science walk, found a birch tree, wrote a classroom poem, and made a fantastic nature beat circle.moss
  • And who says you can’t find wild life in urban places?  ASTC program specialist Korrie Twiggs snapped pictures of this fierce hawk in the heart of Washington, DC.  She logged her find in the iNaturalist citizen science app and found that others had seen him in the area as well.  He seems to have a big appetite for squirrels and other birds!
  • After a nature walk with her classmates, Shakir Gay wrote a poem titled Dangerous Cattail prompted by the similarities she saw between the cattail and a hypodermic needle.  This poem illustrates the power of natural objects to open windows into our dream world.
  • Austin Coats focused our attention on often ignored flora like tree moss in his poem titled Am I Useless?
  • And finally, Kaytee Smith at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences reminded us that the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) starts next week, February 13-16.  The oldest citizen science project on the web, the GBBC invites anyone anywhere to notice, count, and document the abundance and distribution of birds worldwide.

Places to Share

Even though the MOOC will move forward with new facilitators and activities starting tomorrow, we invite you to linger with #icitsci if that suits your fancy. Continue to use iNaturalist, join an #icitsci project– the GBBC, perhaps, repeat the bioblitzes in your backyards and schools, and don’t stop making and sharing your #icitsci science and science poetry.  Just use the #icitsci category in Google+ and the #imakesci & #icitsci hashtags on Twitter.  Feel free to move on or spend the next five weeks exploring citizen science.  This is your MOOC experience–it’s up to you!

iNaturalistAs a reminder, here are some places to share and connect:

  • Join our Google+ Community, Remix, Remake, Curate. Post your thoughts, questions, ideas, and especially your young people’s work here. Record student poetry, share their observations, and let them see what other kids are doing.
  • On Twitter, we encourage you to follow and use the #imakesci hashtag. Keep using #icitsci if you’re continuing to make or share resources related to citizen science.
  • If you have a blog, you can make and create in your own digital space and share to the community on Twitter with the #imakesci hashtag or the G+ community Remix, Remake, Curate.

For More Info

Coming Up…

Look out for the Make Cycle 2: #ivizsci Newsletter tomorrow–Sunday, February 8.  We’re excited to roll out a new make cycle next week with new make ideas and a focus on visualizing science.  As always, we’re happy to help you think through technology sticky points, fuzzy ideas, potential collaborations, and classroom implementations.  Just let us know how we can help!


Chris Goforth, Stephanie West-Puckett, Michael Flinchbaugh, and CJ Suitt, Make Cycle 1 #icitsci Facilitators

Author: Stephanie

I am an assistant professor of Writing and Rhetoric and director of First Year Writing at the University of Rhode Island. I received my PhD in Rhetoric, Writing, and Professional Communication from East Carolina University. My dissertation research analyzes the knowledge-making practices of composers in both online and off-line maker spaces, and my digital writing research has appeared in journals like College English and Education Science and in the books The Next Digital Scholar: A Fresh Approach to the Common Core State Standards in Research and Writing and Assessing Students Digital Writing: Protocols for Looking Closely.

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